Sunday, September 20, 2009

Strangers, The - 4/5

"Well they want something. People don't just stand out there, staring at us like that. They want something." - James Hoyt

I was told by many a friend that this movie wasn't good. I have to disagree after watching it. It's nothing revolutionary in the Horror genre by any means (pretty standard suspense/jumper) but in a day and age where most Horror films are all about the 'in your face' camera cuts with lots of shaking, "The Strangers" feels like a breath of fresh air.

I was mostly impressed with the old school approach to the relatively simplistic story. Lots of long camera work let the scenes build themselves with the actors and the atmosphere (which is nice and thick!) and the use of music and sound to break silence was something you don't see too often nowadays.

The acting was a bit of a stretch and I enjoyed Scott Speedman in the film but Liv Tyler for some reason has never really pushed my buttons. And when she was by herself on film I felt like I missed Speedman way too much.

I also enjoyed the fact that the story was simplistic and straight up. Horror movies are about putting oneself in the moment of that terrible situation and becoming engrossed with it, so too much explantion can hinder that. This uses the lack of 'motive' and 'why' to a resounding success as the viewer frantically tries to piece it together.

The ending for me was a little off kilter from the rest of the film but it was a minute thing compared to how surprised I was with the rest of the film.

It was a solid film with lots of old school influences that played off wonderfully. Many newer Horror fans are going to find it boring I'm sure as it plays with atmosphere and suspense more than gore and shock factors but I felt it was a great homage that I could appreciate. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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